RAWALPINDI: As unofficial results show PTI-backed independent candidates in clear lead in three assemblies, the party’s incarcerated leaders Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi have started getting relief from courts.

The two leaders have been granted bail in at least a dozen cases related to the violent protests on May 9.

The bail applications were heard on Saturday by Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Rawalpindi Judge Malik Ejaz Asif, who also ordered their release. However, since Mr Khan and Mr Qureshi are already convicted in other cases, they were not released from the Adiala Jail.

ATC Judge Asif granted bail to Mr Khan and Mr Qureshi in 12 and 13 cases, respectively.

PTI leader, wife’s indictment in Al-Qadir Trust case deferred

The cases against them were registered in different police stations in Rawalpindi, Wah Cantt, Taxila, and Attock.

The court issued short orders in all bail applications against surety bonds amounting to Rs50,000 to 100,000.

Indictment deferred

The indictment of Mr Khan and his spouse, Bushra Bibi, in the Al-Qadir Trust case has also been deferred till Feb 15 due to the unavailability of the judge.

Since the judge, Mohammad Bashir was not available to conduct the proceedings, the accountability court registrar, Manan Awan, went to the Adiala Jail and marked the attendance of Mr Khan and his wife.

Sheikh Rashid’s bail

The judge, Mr Arif, also released Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on bail in a case related to the May 9 violence.

The politician from Rawalpindi was released after the bail since he was detained in a single case.

While granting the bail, the judge observed that there were loopholes in the prosecution’s case.

Advocate Sardar Abdul Raziq Khan represented Mr Ahmed, while the special public prosecutor appoi­nted in this case remained absent.

The court noted that the accused was not nominated in the FIR, which was registered by Rawalpindi’s New Town police station on May 10.

The judge also observed that during the hearing of Mr Ahmed’s petition — to stop the police from harassing him — in the Lahore High Court Rawalpindi bench, an assistant inspector general police submitted a report stating that the accused was not involved in the case.

The judge also noted that the co-accused had already been granted bail. Therefore, Mr Ahmed was also entitled to the same relief.Subse­quently, Judge Asif accepted the bail against surety bonds of Rs100,000.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2024

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